a side photo of a young shepherd mix dog from the neck up representing a blog about tips for adopted dogs and what they need to settle in their new homes

The Top 10 Things an Adopted Dog Needs

Below is a list of the top 10 things your adopted dog needs. These will help to ensure a smooth transition and can be applied to all dogs, adopted our not. We also have a free course that covers these tips and more! Veterinary care is a given so it's not listed here.

  1. TIME – Adopted dogs and new puppies need time and space to decompress. Time without meeting new dogs, neighbors, friends or family. Set up a separate area for them so they can have peace and quiet.
  1. PATIENCE - They have been through a lot and need patience, love and understanding.
  1. TRAINING - Works and should be fun for you, your dog and all family members. Positive reinforcement training is proven to be best for dogs. Plus, they never have to guess or feel afraid of us when we train with kindness.
  1. TEMPERATURE - If it’s too hot or cold outside your dog’s paws and nervous system can suffer. It’s vital to their well-being that we never leave them in a hot (or cold) car or walk them when it’s too hot outside.
  1. TRUST - Our dogs depend on us to learn how to read their body language and to take care of them when they are uncomfortable. 
  1. EMOTIONS - Consider their emotional needs as you would your friend or child. Dogs have complex emotions and sometimes, as humans, we can forget this. If your dog is afraid, nervous or upset be sure to help them out of the situation instead of forcing them to stay.
  1. SECURITY - Dogs need a safe and secure area of their own. When a dog is recently adopted they are in a heightened state of mind. They may be more skittish and nervous and try to escape. Be extra aware, have a secure area for them and be sure to microchip them AND have a collar with tags on them.
  1. STIMULATION - To live a happy and healthy life, all dogs need both mental and physical stimulation. Providing toys, puzzles, walks and outings will help your new dog with happiness and confidence. Just be sure to not do too much too soon, give them time to get to know your home and family before any major outings.
  1. LOVE - Every dog needs to feel loved and understood. If you are not in a good mood be careful not to take things out on your dog. They need a calm, controlled handler so they can feel safe at all times. 
  1. NUTRITION - Feeding your dog quality food and treats will help them to be healthy and live longer. Speak with your Veterinarian about the best food for your pup. I dog that is underweight can become aggressive for food and overweight dogs are at risk for serious health complications. Keep your pup at a healthy weight so they can live a long, healthy life.

Note: All of this and more are covered in our FREE Adopted Dog course.

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